Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid on Thursday (March 30) told a news agenecy that youngsters who were coming to encounter sites were "committing suicide". Vaid's statement came in the wake of the recent encounter in the state in which more than 60 security personnel were injured while taking on a terrorist because the youngsters pelted stones at them.
On Tuesday (March 28), three young civilians who were among the stone-pelting protesters, succumbed to their injuries suffered during the encounter. The security forces had warned that stone-pelters would be treated akin to terrorists, a warning first uttered by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.
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DGP Vaid spoke to the news outlet about the various difficulties security forces were facing while engaging and neutralising terrorists in the state. He said: "In spite of great provocation, we have been able to minimise collateral damage and civilian casualties."
Vaid added: "A lot of provocation is there from the other side, which is instigating young boys and misleading them to pelt stones and reach the site of encounters. Even security forces in an encounter take the cover of a vehicle or a house. Youths coming to encounter site are committing suicide."
Here, the "other side" may mean separatists in J&K or Pakistan or both. And They both stand to gain from civilian deaths at the hands of — or even in the vicinity of — Indian security forces: They can spin these deaths as "atrocities" perpetrated by India, fomenting trouble on many fronts.
Appeal to youngsters
Vaid, who took over as J&K DGP on January 1 this year, went on to urge youngsters to stay away from encounter sites. He said: "A bullet does not see who is coming or who it will hit. Young boys should stay at homes and not come to encounter sites. This is my appeal."